Which large and midcap bank stocks had the most momentum as 2017 came to a close and 2018 began?
These are the banks that started the year off with the biggest bang, as measured by gains in stock price over 20 days of trading ending Jan. 12.
The NASDAQ Bank Index was up 7.1% in that period, while these 12 banks bested that market performance by double or nearly double, according to an analysis by FIG Partners.
Six states have banks on the list, nearly all in the warmer parts of the country. California and Texas boast three banks apiece, and Georgia and Arkansas are each home to two of the banks. Florida is represented by one bank and so is Virginia.
BOFI: up 16.4%
BofI Holding San Diego, Calif. President and CEO: Gregory Garrabrants Market Cap: $2.06 billion*
Besides posting the largest gain in its stock price, BofI, the parent company of Bank of Internet USA, had one of the lowest price-to-earnings ratios among the midcap banks, FIG Partners said in its report. The stock price was 12.6x earnings, based on analysts' consensus for 2018.
*Market capitalization given for each company in this slideshow is from Jan. 16, as posted by Yahoo Finance.
ABCB: up 15.1%
Ameris Bancorp Moultrie, Ga. Chairman, President and CEO: Edwin W. Hortman Jr. Market Cap: $1.979 billion
Ameris, which had the second-highest gain in its stock price, also saw a spike in trading volume during the period that FIG Partners analyzed. The percentage of shares that traded exceeded the three-month average by 4.16%.
The recent news for Ameris includes two major announcements. Ameris said in November that it agreed to buy Atlantic Coast Financial in Jacksonville, Fla. Not long after that, the company also said that it had been released from a Bank Secrecy Act-related consent order.
Hortman turned over the CEO role at the company’s bank unit, Ameris Bank, to Dennis Zember around the same time.
EWBC: up 14.6%
East West Bancorp Pasadena, Calif. Chairman and CEO: Dominic Ng Market Cap: $9.648 billion
East West will report its fourth-quarter results on Jan. 25. But its earnings have been increasing – by double-digit percentages – quarter after quarter.
American Banker recognized Ng for being a “consistent performer” as part of our 2017 Banker of the Year awards. (See all the 2017 honorees here.)
LTXB: up 14.3%
LegacyTexas Financial Group Plano, Texas President and CEO: Kevin Hanigan Market Cap: $1.985 billion
LegacyTexas Financial has been focused on its efficiency lately. In the third quarter it posted an efficiency ratio of 44.19%, an improvement from 44.96% in the previous quarter.
It is scheduled to report its fourth-quarter results on Jan. 23.
Bank of the Ozarks Little Rock, Ark. Chairman, President and CEO: George Gleason Market Cap: $6.786 billion
In addition to a spike in trading volume – in its case 5.50% – Bank of the Ozarks stood out in the FIG Partners analysis for being relatively cheap compared with other midcap bank stocks. Its price was at 13.8x earnings based on 2018 analyst consensus.
Bank of the Ozarks reported Tuesday that its fourth-quarter earnings rose by 67% from a year earlier, after the company revalued its deferred tax liability. Excluding the $49.8 million tax benefit, its profit rose by 9.7%.
Cadence Bancorp Houston, Texas Chairman and CEO: Paul B. Murphy Jr. Market Cap: $2.331 billion
Cadence will announce its fourth-quarter results on Jan. 25.
Its third-quarter net income was up 393% from a year earlier, mostly because of improved credit quality. It had a provision expense of $1.7 million for the quarter, compared with $29.6 million for the same period in 2016.
The third-quarter net income also was up 12.5% from the previous quarter, with the company citing organic growth.
What PNC has in mind for BBVA's technology; banks and borrowers bristle at SBA questionnaire on large PPP loans; a look at who might be buying if HSBC decides to sell its branches; and more from this week's most-read stories.